Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts


Effective 1 June 2017 through 31 May 2018

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


Peter E. Sargent, dean

Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts website
(external to catalog)

Mission Statement

The mission for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University is to provide students the artistic training, preparation, and scholarship necessary to achieve excellence in the arts as professionals. The faculty of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts is composed of working professional artists and scholars who share a passion for teaching and who hold the belief that in a diverse and technologically advancing world, the arts serve as an expression of our culture's deeper value. The College's dedication to continuing its longstanding tradition as a center for quality creative expression, combined with the University's continuing commitment as a home of significant professional arts organizations, create the rich artistic, academic, and cultural atmosphere necessary to assure the success of our students in reaching their goals.

This Mission Statement clearly reflects the spirit and atmosphere that permeates the creative atmosphere of the College. The demands placed on students are enormous. In order to succeed, the faculty expect students to be highly disciplined; to be completely focused on the challenges that will be placed in front of them regularly; to be resilient in their spirit to use the talent and instruction available to achieve new levels of excellence; and to understand that to be an artist in our community, it is necessary to be a citizen and a leader. The faculty are dedicated to providing the best possible opportunities to develop individual talents within the resources available at the University. It is expected that students will strive to be the best and to set the standards for others to achieve.

In order to ensure that the best opportunities are available to the students, significant partnerships are in place with the outstanding performing and visual arts organizations in the region. The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis are housed on campus and perform their seasons in the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts. The Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and the St. Louis Municipal Opera (the Muny) as well as Variety Club have partnership programs available to students.  The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has curricular programs jointly offered with Webster. The presence of these outstanding arts organizations provides our students with day-by-day opportunities to understand the discipline and the demand for excellence that must be maintained at the highest level of achievement. The professionals working with these organizations are selected to be members of the faculty of artists that is the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.

It is expected that through the entrance audition process, our students are excellent. It is expected that our students are ready for the daily regime necessary to excel. It is expected that our students will be intellectually curious. It is expected that our students will utilize the resources available to them to prepare themselves for successful careers in the arts discipline of choice. It is expected that the faculty will provide the models of excellence that are required to ensure that the best training is available. It is expected that the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts will be a regional and national leader in the visual and performing arts. Everyone—students, faculty, and staff—is dedicated to being a community of artists reaching for excellence. Expect to be challenged and prepare to succeed.

Department of Art, Design, and Art History

Tom Lang, chair

Majors and Degrees


A minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours of formal coursework from the University curriculum completed at Webster University. Courses used to fulfill a major may not also be used to fulfill a requirement for a minor.


Department of Art, Design, and Art History website
(external to catalog)

Art Education

Students seeking certification to teach art at the elementary and secondary level should combine an art (BA or BFA) with an emphasis in studio art major with the education (BA) with certification in art K-12 education major in the Teacher Education Department. The Teacher Education Department offers courses that prepare an individual to teach at either the elementary or secondary level, while the Department of Art, Design, and Art History offers courses conveying the requisite studio art and art historical knowledge. For more information, see the School of Education section. To successfully complete the requirements of both departments, students should have advisors in education and in art.

Mission Statement

The Department of Art, Design, and Art History offers a wide variety of courses that seek to prepare students to successfully encounter the contemporary art world. The program encourages students to understand and synthesize traditions, and to confront challenging ideas and emerging technologies. The learning environment in the department emphasizes personal expression, alternative approaches, and experimentation. At the same time, the department stresses fundamental concepts that unify all art and yet allow infinite variation. The Department of Art, Design, and Art History shares the belief that intensive work, study, and involvement in art prepare the student for professional art training or personal career goals.

Special Study Opportunities

Other special opportunities include:

  • Annual Cecille R. Hunt Undergraduate Juried Art Show
  • Cecille R. Hunt Senior Art Awards
  • BA exhibit in the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery
  • BFA exhibit held in professional art gallery off-campus
  • Exhibits of professional works throughout the year in the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery
  • Internships at area art institutions such as Laumeier Sculpture Park, White Flag projects, and more
  • Study at the London international campus, which offers the programs in Art History and Criticism, or any of Webster University’s other international campuses
  • Biennial international study trips to Florence and to Venice


A limited number of talent scholarships are available to qualified students.

  • Leon Hicks Scholarship
  • ArtMart Scholarship
    For students in their senior year
  • Sister Gabriel Mary Hoare Scholarship
    Special consideration given to Art Education students
  • Other scholarships also available

Special Requirements

Entering students seeking a BA in art with an emphasis in studio, a BFA in art with an emphasis in illustration, a BFA in art with a studio emphasis, or a BFA in graphic design must present a portfolio for initial acceptance into the art program. The portfolio is reviewed as a condition of the admission process, by one or more faculty of the Department of Art, Design, and Art History. Appointments for portfolio interviews can be scheduled through the Office of Admission.

Courses completed with a grade of D do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer students seeking a BA in art with an emphasis in studio art must take 15 or more studio credit hours at Webster University.

Transfer students seeking a BA in art history and criticism must take a minimum of 12 art history credit hours and 6 studio credit hours at Webster University. Art history and criticism transfer students must petition the Department of Art, Design, and Art History for acceptance into the department.

Transfer students seeking a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) must take at least 24 studio credit hours (a minimum of 6 credit hours must be in drawing).

Transfer students seeking a BFA in art with a studio emphasis in drawing must take a minimum of 18 credit hours in drawing at Webster University. Transfer students should expect to complete the departmental requirements in a minimum of two academic years.

Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Dorothy Marshall Englis, Chair

Majors and Degrees


Conservatory of Theatre Arts website
(external to catalog)

Statement of Purpose

It is our mission to train our future colleagues to become visionaries, creators, and leaders in the next generation of American professional theatre.

Educational Goals

Graduates of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts will:

  • Possess skills within their area of expertise.
  • Demonstrate an effective working process.
  • Be disciplined theatre practitioners.
  • Understand the value of the ensemble.
  • Realize the potential of their imagination.
  • Have experience in theatre production in professional and learning environments.
  • Be prepared to get work.

Student Assessment

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University offers a sequential, selective, and intensive program for training young artists for theatre. All students are accepted into the program by interview or audition and are enrolled in a particular sequence. Through a carefully monitored grading system using written comment sheets from all faculty, students are regularly advised of their progress and status within the Conservatory. Learning outcomes are measured via coursework, semester auditions, interviews, and/or portfolio reviews from which students receive individual faculty feedback.

Special Study Opportunities

One of the distinguishing elements of Webster's Conservatory of Theatre Arts is its integrated association with professional performing organizations, two of which are located on campus: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Webster also enjoys a one-of-a-kind association with a professional musical theatre, The Muny, and a partnership with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis as well as Variety Club. These outstanding performing institutions offer exciting productions, nationally and internationally recognized theatre artists, and special opportunities for specific projects.

Performance and production majors in the fourth year take part in a trip to New York City, where they audition and/or exhibit their talents in performances for alumni, agents, casting directors, and artistic directors. Designers, stage managers, and producers in New York are invited to the students' portfolio reviews. The Conservatory produces a season of six to eight theatrical productions, including one to three directing capstones in addition to one opera studio with the Department of Music, and three dance concerts with the Department of Dance annually. The productions are mounted and designed by students, using each of three performance spaces. A sequence of weekly one-act plays called E.T.s (Every Tuesday) is part of the directing and actor training programs. Further performance and production opportunities are possible when projects of special merit are proposed.

In recent years, Conservatory students have been placed in internships and practica with The Muny; Walt Disney World; the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego; Cirque du Soleil; the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis; Denver Center Theatre Company; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Missouri Repertory Theatre; Dance Saint Louis; Grand Center; Circus Flora; Missouri Citizens for the Arts; Washington Opera; Seattle Repertory Theatre; Paramount Theatre, Aurora; the Nebraska Theatre Caravan; St. Louis Regional Arts Council; Intiman Theatre; the Goodspeed Opera House; the Columbus Ballet; San Diego Repertory Theatre; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; Metro Theater Company; Variety Children's Theatre; Hudson Scenic Studios; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  


Marita Woodruff Scholarship
This scholarship was established through a gift from Marsha Mason, an alumna of the Webster Theatre and Dance Department, to acknowledge the outstanding teaching contributions of Marita Woodruff. The scholarship is awarded annually to one student in the third year and one student in the fourth year who represent an outstanding balance of professionalism, talent, and scholarship in humanistic studies.

Judy K. Meyer Scholarship
This scholarship is funded by the Arthur Meyer Memorial Fund and is awarded to a fourth-year musical theatre or acting student judged to be outstanding.

Robert Slowiak Scholarship
This award was created by the Robert Slowiak Memorial Fund to be awarded to the outstanding fourth-year student in the design and technical production program. This fund is intended to support the student's needs for supplies and materials.

David Huffman Scholarship
This scholarship is established to provide a student in the fourth year with additional support that will allow him/her to complete the final year. This award is based on financial need and excellent work within the Conservatory.

Phyllis Huffman Del Vecchio Scholarship
This scholarship is established to recognize an outstanding fourth-year student in acting or musical theatre in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts with significant financial need. The scholarship is intended to provide support to allow the student to complete his/her final year of studies. The awardee should exhibit potential for a successful career as an actor in theatre or film.

Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin Scholarship
This scholarship is established and named for an alumna of the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts and is awarded to the outstanding fourth-year stage management student.

Peter E. Sargent Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a student in the third or fourth year representing outstanding talent and promise in the field of lighting design.

Jeffrey Struckman Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship, established by family and friends to honor the memory of an alumnus of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, is awarded to a full-time, third- or fourth-year student majoring in costume or scene design.

Marcella Withum Finn Endowed Costume Fund
The fund establishes an endowment to provide support for the design, construction, and execution of costumes for an annually selected Conservatory of Theatre Arts production. It is intended to be utilized for a single production selected by the design and technical production faculty each season.

Byron Grant Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a third- or fourth-year student in musical theatre representing outstanding talent and the desire to pursue a career in musical theatre performance.

Markus and Barbara Trice Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a third- or fourth-year minority student demonstrating leadership and mentoring abilities.

Special Requirements

All candidates for admission must complete the audition, portfolio review, and/or interview process delineated by the specific majors to be considered for the programs.

Only courses completed with a grade of C- or above will count toward fulfilling the specific requirements of the major.

Department of Dance

James Robey, Chair

Majors and Degrees


Department of Dance website
(external to catalog)

The Department of Dance Mission and Values

Webster University's Department of Dance in The Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts educates students to become skilled, creative, and compassionate thinking artists for 21st century careers as performers, choreographers, educators, and scholars.

Students: Promote the uniqueness and wholeness of the individual artist by sustaining a personalized approach through direct relationships with faculty and staff, and attention to student life.

Learning: Challenge students to strive for depth of expertise in their discipline by joining theory and practice, encouraging rigor in creativity and scholarship, and fostering a lifelong desire to learn. 

Diversity and Inclusion: Engage students as performers, choreographers, and teachers to be inclusive and compassionate by instilling a culture of respect for diversity and understanding of their own and others’ values.

Global Artist-Citizens: Embrace dance as an art form within a global community by educating a diverse population with an international perspective that acts responsibly and consciously toward social and environmental issues, strengthening the communities we serve.

Special Study Opportunities

BA students are able to dance intensively while also working towards a second major or certification.  The BA capstone allows research, an internship, or project with a focus on pedagogy, history, criticism or a topic of the student's choice.

BFA students receive a total of 3 years of choreographic experience.  As a capstone project, the BFA candidate culminates his/her college career by creating works for the senior BFA concert and is expected to complete all aspects of production including costuming, lighting and PR/marketing.


The Gary Hubler Scholarship is for a student majoring in dance in Webster University's Department of Dance.  It is to assist a student with their academic dreams and goals, without interruption due to financial need.  This scholarship will serve to empower the recipient both personally and professionally, affording the opportunity for students with the desire and dedication to improve their understanding and application of dance.  An advantage of a student attending a higher educational institution to continue their education in the field of Dance is to get the broader scope of the dance world present and past. 

Special Requirements

Acceptance to the Department of Dance as a degree-seeking student, BA or BFA is by audition and consists of the following:

  • An interview to discuss career goals and past history.
  • Submission of résumé.
  • Performance of approximately three minutes of choreography.
  • Participation in a ballet and modern technique class.

There are no limitations on the degree of intensity with which dance work can be pursued.  In the second semester of the second year the dance major, assisted by his or her advisor, prepares a written proposal of specific goals in his or her intended major. It may be presented in terms of career goals, such as teaching, performing; as a declaration of intended choreographic accomplishments; or as an approach to the study of dance with personal learning goals. The entire dance faculty will evaluate the individual's realistic ability to accomplish those goals.

In the first semester of the final year, the dance major has an exit interview with dance faculty, assessing accomplishments thus far and focusing on individual goals for the major's final year, as well as post graduation.

Courses completed with a grade of D do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Department of Music

Jeffrey Richard Carter, Chair

Majors and Degrees



Department of Music website
(external to catalog)

Outcomes Statements of the Department of Music

The Department of Music at Webster University offers the BA, BM, and BME degrees. The music unit is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music, a national specialized accrediting agency.

A graduate of the Webster University Department of Music will:

  1. Hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, and structure.
  2. Manifest an understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces within a contemporary global context.
  3. Exhibit an acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres, and cultural sources.
  4. Communicate clearly and think independently, cooperatively, critically, and creatively in various performance settings regarding musical judgments.
  5. Employ knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation, including rehearsal and conducting skills as appropriate to the particular music concentration.
  6. Display growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble experiences that are varied both in size and nature.
  7. Perform a cross-section of repertory on a primary instrument at a level appropriate to the student’s needs and interests, meeting Departmental and degree standards.
  8. Demonstrate awareness of repertories beyond the area of specialization through exposure to a large and varied body of music by attending recitals, concerts, opera and musical theater productions, and other performances.
  9. Comprehend, internalize, and be fluent in reading music, including the ability to sight-read and improvise.
  10. Show a basic overview understanding of how technology serves the field of music as a whole.
  11. Evidence a working knowledge of the technological developments applicable to the student’s area of specialization.

Special Study Opportunities

The Department of Music seeks creative students involved in the art of music in the areas of composition, performance, or teaching who value the enrichment afforded them by a liberal arts university. Webster University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Department of Music offers music courses and ensembles to all Webster University students so that they may acquaint themselves with music as one aspect of their culture, either as appreciative listeners or as trained participants. The department offers state-approved curricula for the preparation of teachers of music in the elementary and secondary schools. The primary focus of the department is instruction designed to prepare students for careers in composition, jazz studies, music education, pedagogy, and performance. Students are also encouraged to avail themselves of several significant study opportunities in Europe and Asia, and summer workshops offered through the Department of Music.

Complementing the substantial musical environment of St. Louis, a full and varied concert season is offered by the department. The season includes student and faculty recitals, as well as performances by guest artists and student ensembles.

The University supports a number of performing groups including Concert Choir, Jazz Singers, Chamber Singers, Webster University Orchestra, Opera Studio, Jazz Collective, Jazz Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and the New Music Ensemble. The department also provides various chamber music ensembles.


Donald O. Davis Jazz Scholarship
The Donald O. Davis Jazz Scholarship was established in memory of Dr. Davis by his son, Drew Davis, a Webster music alumnus, his friends, and family in 2000. This scholarship provides financial assistance to a student majoring in jazz studies who demonstrates talent and financial need. 

James Moroney Nigh Scholarship in Opera
The James Moroney Nigh Scholarship in Opera was established in memory of Mr. Nigh by his wife, family, and friends in 2000. This scholarship provides financial assistance to a voice major participating in the Opera Studio. The award is based on talent and financial need. 

Suzy Shepard Jazz Scholarship Fund
The Suzy Shepard Jazz Scholarship Fund was established in 1985 to provide financial assistance for outstanding jazz studies students of sophomore standing or above with a B or better grade point average. 

TKT Music Scholarship
The TKT Scholarship was established in memory of Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello, and Tony Saputo by their families and friends to provide financial assistance for outstanding music students of junior standing or above with a B or better grade average. 

Jean Sinor Memorial Scholarship in Music Education
The Sinor Scholarship was established in memory of alumna Jean Sinor by emerita professor Kathryn Bowers, friends, and family with support from the Boeing Foundation. This scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to exceptional junior, senior, or graduate students in the field of choral and/or general music education. 

Allen Carl Larson Endowed Scholarship Fund for Instrumental Studies
Established in 2009, the Larson Scholarship Fund recognizes the contributions of Dr. Allen Carl Larson during his 36 years as conductor of the Webster Symphony Orchestra, providing scholarships for outstanding instrumental majors in the Department of Music.

Sister Felicia Corrigan S.L. Endowed Music Scholarship
The Corrigan Scholarship was established by Ann Margaret Corrigan in 2006 in memory of Sister Felicia, a teacher of sociology at Webster College, and a member of the Sisters of Loretto. The award is given to full- or part-time students with demonstrated financial need.

Peggy Fossett Endowed Scholarship Fund for Music
This fund was established in 2011 through a gift from the Peggy and Steve Fossett Foundation, with the purpose of providing scholarship for students from the Saint Louis metropolitan area, who exhibit both talent and need. Along with the Buder Scholarship, the Fossett Scholarship is the most prestigious award from the Department of Music

Walter Bowers Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Music Education
Established by Dr. Kathryn Smith Bowers in 2010 to honor the distinguished teaching career of Walter Bowers, an Indiana bandmaster, this fund provides Webster University instrumentalists an opportunity to thrive and excel. The scholarship is awarded to a junior, senior, or graduate student in Music Education with an Instrumental Music emphasis.

Carole Gaspar Endowed Scholarship in Vocal Performance
This fund provides scholarship assistance to full-time undergraduate students whose major is vocal performance.  The scholarship, established in 2015, is in honor of long-time Director of Vocal Studies Carole Gaspar, with funding from Peter Gaspar, Dee Pavelka, and an anonymous donor.

Mary Ellen Smith Memorial Scholarship in Music
Established by Dr. Kathryn Bowers (Emerita Professor of Music) in 2015, this scholarship honors the admirable teaching careers of long-time Webster professors Carole Gaspar (voice), Daniel Schene (piano), and William Partridge (organ).  The fund provides ongoing support to a full-time student pursuing a degree in music, and is awarded based on need, degree program, and performance ability.

Sister Eloise Jarvis, Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship in Music
This scholarship, established by Dr. Steve Schenkel in 2015, celebrates the life and work of long-time Department of Music chairperson Eloise Jarvis, S.L., who led the way in building Webster's music department.  The scholarship is awarded to a rising senior with a strong academic record, who has distinguished him/herself as a performer of music and who will contribute to the world of music.

Monica M. Moore & David G. Fish Endowed Scholarship in Music
Monica Moore (Class of 1964) and David Fish established this scholarship to support an African-American student from East St. Louis, or Belleville, Illinois. The recipient must demonstrate significant financial need and a strong academic record. This scholarship may be awarded to a first-year student.

Kevin Steincross Endowed Scholarship in Music
Established in 2015, the Kevin Steincross Scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in piano performance, music education, or collaborative piano. The scholarship honors Kevin Steincross, a St. Louis-area television host and supporter of the arts.

Buder Foundation Scholarships
These scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in any music degree program. Recipients must be residents of Missouri or Southern Illinois, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, demonstrate musical excellence, and be between the ages of 18 and 28.

Department of Music Scholarships
The department offers a limited number of scholarships to entering freshmen, transfer students, and graduate students based on talent and financial need. Preference is given to students who audition in person before March 30 of each year. Interested applicants should contact the chair of the Department of Music.

Admission and Audition Requirements

To be admitted as an undergraduate music major or music minor, applicants must complete an in-person audition/interview with the music faculty and complete various diagnostic examinations. Auditions are arranged through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Specific information on the audition requirements for each music degree program is available from the department's website. Priority consideration for performance scholarships is given to students who complete all admission requirements before March 30 of the application year.

Ensemble Requirements

Each of the undergraduate degree programs in music includes multiple semesters of participation in a major ensemble. Depending upon specific degree requirements, the major ensembles include Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble (combo), Jazz Singers, Big Band, and New Music Ensemble.

Music scholarship students are expected to participate in performing ensembles in addition to those for which they receive credit. In general, music majors are expected to participate in at least two ensembles per semester.

Candidacy Examination

Each undergraduate music major must take a Candidacy Examination in spring of the sophomore year or upon completion of 45 or more credit hours as music majors (whichever comes first). The Candidacy Examination assesses a student's success in the first two years of music study. The examination helps the music faculty determine a student's potential for graduation within a given degree program.

The examination includes the performance of one or more works and an interview with the faculty. While most students declare their intention from their first semester (BM in performance, BA in music, and so on), no student is actually accepted into the department as a major until the Candidacy Examination is completed successfully.

Piano Proficiency

Each undergraduate music major must demonstrate proficiency on the piano keyboard.  Proficiency is demonstrated through at least two successful semesters of piano lessons or classes. Piano Proficiency content is described in the Department of Music Handbook.  Music Education majors take a separate proficiency exam no later than the junior year, the contents of which are described in the Department of Music Handbook.

Performance Requirements

Much of the music that we make is collaborative in nature, with a mix of keyboard, wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments, and voices.  So that performance majors develop an ability to work with others beyond an accompanist, all performance majors presenting junior and senior recitals will include on each recital or in a Thursday student recital at least one 3-minute work that includes collaboration with a performer other than or in addition to piano.  Works longer than 3 minutes are encouraged. 

Department of Music Handbook

All music major students are responsible for knowing the contents of the Department of Music Handbook, which is issued at the beginning of each academic year. The Handbook contains more detail on various requirements such as piano proficiency, qualifying examinations, ensemble participation, recital attendance, and departmental operations.  The Handbook is expressly incorporated into the requirements stated in this catalog.

Other Academic Requirements

Students seeking a bachelor of music (BM) degree must complete at least 30 credit hours of courses in the department. Students seeking the bachelor of arts (BA) degree must complete at least 18 credit hours (including at least 2 credit hours of MUSC 4000 Applied Music) in the department.

Courses completed with a grade lower than C do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Once a student matriculates at Webster University, no music courses required for the music major may be taken outside of Webster, in accordance with stated academic policies.  

Music Library Holdings

Books, periodicals, scores, records, compact discs, and videos as recommended for music libraries by the National Association of Schools of Music are conveniently housed in the Emerson Library. In addition, the library subscribes to a number of significant online, music-related resources.